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ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified : he is risen ; he is not here : behold the place where they laid him. But go quickly, and tell his disciples, and Peter, that he goeth before you into Galilee : there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.”

“The women remembered his words, and went out quickly : for they trembled and were amazed :" in their alarm and astonishment they thing to any man" on the spot or by the way : but returned from the sepulchre, and ran to bring the disciples word, and told all these things unto the eleven, and unto all the rest. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and “ they believed them not.”4

Peter and John, however, whom we have always seen to be, the one the most ardent and zealous, the other the most faithful of the apostles, were too much interested in what had been told them, to be content without further examination. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. John stooped down, and saw the linen clothes lying : Peter following him, went in : and they “ beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves,” and all things as the women had reported : he saw and believed that it was as Mary had said; “and departed, wondering at that which was come to pass.” They still thought of explaining the circumstances in some other way, and were not yet prepared to receive as certain the astonishing fact of the resurrection. We consider this as strange. The belief of the resurrection of the body has been made familiar to us. We should not have had the same just reason to believe it, if the apostles had believed without indisputable evidence and full examination.

4 St. Luke here observes, “It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the Mother of Jesus, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.” He does not specify that Mary Magdalene had arrived first, and brought her account separately.

5 St. Luke does not mention that Peter entered the tomb, or that John accompanied Peter. He leads us, however, to suppose what otherwise we might have doubted, that these two were with the rest when the women came, and that Mary Magdalene had not seen them separately. For after stating, They believed them not: he proceeds, Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre.

6

10. Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.

11. But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,

12. And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.

13. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.

14. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.

To prevent the too great a surprise, or sudden alarm which might have struck her, he revealed himself by degrees.

6 She had returned to it, we may suppose, following Peter and John.

15. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou ? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.

Then in a voice which she had so long known, and so often heard with veneration,

16. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni ; which is to say, Master.

17. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not ; for I am not yet ascended to my Father : but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father : and to my God, and your God.

18. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.

Such was the gracious message with which he announced the truth which they were so slow to comprehend. He does not upbraid them for their disbelief of his own plain words ; he does not condemn them for deserting him in the hour of trial ; they are still his brethren: his Father is their Father, his God their God.

And not theirs only, but the God and Father of all who “believe in him through their word.” Such is the mercy which he has wrought for his disciples. He has caused his father to adopt them as his children, and his God to protect them with his almighty power. He hath put away the sins, which “ inade a separation between them and their God.”

Is it so with yourselves? Is the God and Father to whom Christ has ascended, your God and your Father, to whom you are reconciled, to whom you have access through the Son ? Rejoice, and be exceeding glad ; for great is the blessing which you enjoy. He who made the worlds, is your gracious Father: he who governs all things, is your merciful God : he has entered into covenant with you ; and is pledged, that in this life “ all things shall work together for your eventual good ; pledged to raise you up to eternal life at the last day.

Strive to keep " this jewel of your hope” unbroken to the end. “ Watch and pray,” and by his grace you shall keep it.

shall keep it. For he who has bestowed it upon you is ascended to his father and your Father, and to his God and

your

God.

LECTURE XCIV.

JESUS APPEARS TO THE APOSTLES AND GIVES

THEM HIS COMMISSION.

JOHN xx. 19-23.

19. Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

20. And when he had so said, he showed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.

21. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you : as the Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

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For the same purpose and to the same end I commission you. In this sense, the apostles were sent into the world as the Son was sent into the world. In another sense Christ stood alone. The Father sent the Son, first, to be “the propitiation for our sins :” to give his life a ransom for many." This office no man could share with him. And further, Christ was perfect and infallible; such as no descendant of Adam can be. But then he was also sent into the world, to preach “the gospel of peace,” “the gospel of the kingdom :" " to seek and to save that which was lost." For this purpose the Father had sent him. And for this purpose he now

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